CEDAW recommendations 2003 7

CEDAW/C/2003/II/CRP.3/Add.1/Rev.1            18 July 2003  Original: English

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women   Twenty-ninth session      30 June –18 July 2003

Draft report  Consideration of reports of States parties Japan 

Fourth and fifth periodic reports


1. The Committee considered the fourth and fifth periodic reports of Japan at its 617th and 618th meetings on 8 July 2003.

Principal areas of concern and recommendations

21. The Committee expresses concern that, while the Constitution stipulates equality between the sexes, no specific definition of discrimination has been included in domestic legislation.

22. The Committee recommends that a definition of discrimination against women encompassing both direct and indirect discrimination, in line with article 1 of the Convention, be included in domestic legislation. It also recommends campaigns to raise awareness about the Convention, in particular the meaning and scope of indirect discrimination, aimed, inter alia, at parliamentarians, the judiciary and the legal profession in general.

33. The Committee is concerned at the existing wage gap between women and men, stemming largely from the difference in type of work, horizontal and vertical employment segregation as expressed by the two -track employment management system, and the lack of understanding regarding the practice and the effects of indirect discrimination as expressed in the governmental guidelines to the Equal Employment Opportunity Law. The Committee is further concerned by the high percentage of women in part -time work and by women who are “dispatch workers”, whose salaries are lower than those working in a regular situation. The Committee is deeply concerned about the difficulties faced primarily by women in reconciling their personal and family lives with professional and public responsibilities.

34. The Committee urges the State party to amend its guidelines to the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and to increase its efforts towards accelerating the achievement of de facto equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market through, inter alia, the use of temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention. The Committee recommends that efforts be made to eliminate occupational segregation, both horizontal and vertical, through, inter alia, education and training, effective enforcement mechanisms and systematic monitoring of progress. The Committee recommends that measures allowing for the reconciliation of family and professional responsibilities be intensified, that equal sharing of domestic and family tasks between women and men be promoted, and that changes to the stereotypical expectations of women’s roles in the family and labour market be encouraged.